Roland Lamah’s 2018 was very similar to his 2017. The 30-year-old Ivory Coast native put up solid goal numbers as well as a handful of assists from the left side of the attack. Nothing astonishing, but considering the shoes he had to fill and the understanding that Oscar Pareja’s teams share the goalscoring, Lamah has done a solid job in Frisco the past two seasons. That’s true even with reduced minutes in 2018 due to the additions of Santiago Mosquera and Dominique Badji. That being said, his offensive output is incredibly sporadic as he’s gone four or more games without a goal or assist five times in his two seasons in Frisco, including such runs of six and five this past season.
Roland appeared in 31 matches across all competitions for FC Dallas, starting in 21 of them (all MLS games). His eight goals were tied with Maxi Urruti for the team lead, while his six assists were good for third on the team, tied with Michael Barrios and five behind Urruti’s team-leading 11. His 1.2 key passes per game were fourth-best on the team, while his 73.8% passing rate was third-worst among players who played more than 1,000 minutes.
While Lamah started 19 of the team’s first 23 league games, he saw action in just seven of the team’s final 12 games, only earning two starts. This certainly affected his scoring touch as his final goal of the season came in the Hoops’ early-August home loss to San Jose.
Game That Best Sums Up Roland
When FC Dallas tied Houston 1-1 on July 21st, Roland Lamah — and we’ll never know why — waved off Reto Zeigler for a 62nd minute penalty kick and did this:
Saved.— Big D Soccer (@BigDSoccer) July 22, 2018
Why did Lamah think he had the right to wave Reto off? pic.twitter.com/ucdLN6KIrH
Not only was his attempt truly awful, essentially going right down the middle, but he had an excellent chance to score on the rebound of it before he then upped his error with the worst first touch anyone’s ever seen, ever.
Oh, you thought that was it?
No. Later, after a Houston goal was called off via VAR, Roland was given an absolutely wonderful opportunity to redeem himself, but he skied his first-timer over the bar, taking away yet another near-perfect scoring chance.
I’m no dog, but woof.
This game was a perfect encapsulation of Lamah’s time here. He’s consistently put himself in good spots thanks to his own abilities and experiences, but just can’t quite seal the deal as consistently as you’d expect from a player of his should-be caliber.
I don’t want to sound too unfair towards Lamah. He’s given FC Dallas some very good moments and effort in the last two seasons when we didn’t really know what to expect after Fabian Castillo’s departure. That being said, his largest weakness is probably his price tag. His total compensation is $818,000 this year and — for an aging player who’s play is strong when it shows up, but is completely absent in between those moments — the cost just outweighs the benefits going forward.
He’s done a nice job of bridging a weird gap between losing a key everyday winger and finding what the future of that position holds in both Mosquera (assuming he gets more time on the wing with Pablo Aránguiz filling the middle of the field) and a host of young talent that need to see more minutes for continued development. No one will appreciate the 19 goals and nine assists he’s given us during his time here more than I, but sometimes these things just run their course.